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Rose putts in a good show as Woods struggles

Justin Rose found his putting touch in time to take the lead during the second round at the $9million WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio yesterday.

Rose struggled to read the greens early but had few complaints after a three under par 67 at Firestone Country Club.

He recorded an eight-under 132 halfway total, one stroke ahead of Australian Marc Leishman (69) and two in front of American Rickie Fowler with half the 76-man field still on the course.

Tiger Woods drove poorly but eked out a 71 to trail by seven shots on a course where he has won a record seven times.

Rose, who hit 16 greens in regulation, described his round as a "stark contrast" to his opening 65.

"Yesterday I scrambled it around and made everything," said the world No4. "Today I hit it much closer to the hole, gave myself plenty of looks and didn't make as many mistakes.

"Early on I just wasn't seeing the breaks very well. I began to putt much better on the back nine.


"I had the opportunity to shoot a low one today but all in all, it was a nice step forward the way I felt with my long game."

First round leader Leishman had a "scare" at the first hole when his approach shot to 4ft set up a likely birdie, only to three-putt for a bogey.

"After that, I holed a few good putts," said the world No51, who is coming off a tie for fifth at the British Open.

"I feel like I'm playing well. It is a tough course. If you're not hitting good shots, you can make bogeys pretty good, as I showed out there today."

Woods, in just his third event since back surgery in March, was not exactly a model of accuracy off the tee at a course with plenty of rough waiting to gobble up errant shots.

The defending champion scrambled well at times, though the par-four ninth (his 18th) was not one of those occasions. After driving into the right rough, Woods tried to get home with a five wood, only to slice the ball into another poor lie 40 yards short of the hole, from where he bogeyed.